Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Celebrating October with Pumpkin Cake, Nature and Progress on the Big House

October has arrived and you know what that means. It’s officially pumpkin season, one of my favorite times of the year. I love almost anything pumpkin, yet we’ve been so busy with things at the big house that autumn’s arrival almost escaped me until I saw all the pumpkins at the grocery store. Of course, the 90 degree temps don’t exactly make it feel like fall. Still, the cooler nights have the wildflowers peeking out to say hello.
The calves are getting a little more mischievous, too.
Do these guys look like they’ve been busted or what?
"Who, me?"

And the sunrises are just gorgeous.
But about that pumpkin cake.
This is a recipe I’ve shared before, but it’s too good not to share again.

Here's what you'll need.
For the cake:

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice ***see note in instructions below***
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
For the frosting:
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 Tbs. softened butter
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then grease a square baking pan. 8 x 8 or 9 x 9, whatever you have.
Next, mix together your sugar and eggs at medium speed for about two minutes.
Add the pumpkin and oil.
And mix until blended.
Now add your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and...
Wait for it...

Instead of adding the cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice,
I love spices, but I am not a fan of pumpkin pie spice. The flavors always seem flat to me, so when I'm making my pumpkin pie, I always go with the cinnamon, ginger and cloves measurements listed on the Libby's Pumpkin Puree can. Then I discovered a recipe for making your own pumpkin pie spice over at My Baking Addiction (recipe here).
This blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves was the perfect addition to this cake and is now a staple in my kitchen.

Okay, so beat those ingredients in at low speed for one minute.
Pour into your pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Since I was using and 8 x 8 pan it took a little longer.

Cool on rack.
For the frosting, mix together your cream cheese and butter until well blended.
Then, with your mixer on low speed, add the confectioners sugar and blend well.
Then beat in your vanilla.
Oops. Looks like someone was a little eager to dig in.
Moist, delicious, pumpkin perfection.
Oh, I cannot wait to make this again. I'm guessing that may just happen this week, regardless of how warm it is outside.

So continue to progress at the big house.
The painting is ongoing.
But tiling in the master bathroom is now complete.
And I have a real floor in my office.

You know, our dogs have really been a source of entertainment since we moved. They absolutely love being outdoors, because they just never know what they might encounter.

Whatever went into these woods got Dixie’s attention.
Because she stayed there forever.

Now it’s your turn.
What does fall mean to you? Pumpkins, apples or something entirely different?
And the big question, what do you think Dixie saw in those woods?

Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com  


  1. Your house is coming along beautifully! I LOVE that shower!

    My favorite part of fall has to be the cooler temperatures. Our roses are blooming - at least mine is. I have an old fashioned rose that is from my great-grandmother's rose bush. It's a lovely shade of pink, and it's going to town this week.

    And what caught Dixie's attention? I'm guessing some animal that was too scared to come down from a tree while she was watching. Maybe a possum? Or a raccoon? Whatever it was, it looks like it kept her busy!

    1. You know, Jan, we worked so hard to select all of the elements of the house, but you still never really know how it's going to come together, so to see the finished bathroom was a thrill. It was better than I imagined.

      Lord willing, we'll have some cooler temps coming our way the end of next week. They're talking about highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s, so I'm stoked. As well as cautiously optimistic. ;)

  2. Mindy, the house is gorgeous!! I love the colors and tile you've chosen. And the wood floors. I can't wait to see the finished product!!

    As for the critter, around here, the culprit is always a squirrel. My dog goes crazy. :)

    1. Thank you, Missy. I really is a labor of love. Would you believe that floor isn't wood, though? It's tile. Planks, but they look just like wood. Between the dogs and sandy terrain, tile was a more practical option. Not to mention cheaper than wood.

      And I'm with you that it was probably a squirrel. She sure kept an eye on it, though.

  3. The house is looking great! And I can't wait to try this recipe!

    1. Thanks, LeAnne. I can't wait to make this cake again either. Yum!

  4. I'm immediately thinking snake and poor Dixie sitting still as a statue so as not to alarm it into attacking and there is mom in the background taking pictures and thinking she's so cute. Bwahahahaha! (I have never recovered from those snake pictures you showed.)

    I'm with Jan on the cooler weather. Our September was ridiculously hot and humid -- broke all the records practically every day -- and then, voila October came and Mother Nature finally stepped in and separated her dueling daughters -- Sister Summer and Sister Autumn -- and she told Summer to share so Autumn is finally getting her chance to shine. Thank goodness!

    I love pumpkin anything (except fake flavouring in drinks or processed cookies that were never meant to be pumpkin in the first place) and I haven't had cream cheese icing in a zillion years so this might end up at my small group potluck this month!

    1. You crack me up, Kav. Spoken like a true suspense writer. But I can guarantee you that it was not a snake.

      I'm glad you're finally getting a reprieve from the heat. I mean, we expect it here, but we have a/c to help us contend with it. BTW, I love your tale of two seasons. You're on a roll today.

      Oh, and this cake would be perfect for your small group because it makes a smaller cake, so you're not left with a ton leftover to temp you. Unless, of course, that's what you want. If so, then I suggest you make two.